1 Nov 2004

Miss South Pacific title won by Niuean for the first time

9:17 pm on 1 November 2004

A Niuean contestant has won the coveted Miss South Pacific title for the first time.

Sinahemana Hekau won the contest in American Samoa at the weekend.

She wins prizes including five thousand US dollars, airline tickets and locally made jewellery.

Miss Hekau was a surprise winner because she did not win any of the smaller titles during the competition.

A local journalist who attended the pageant said Miss Hekau impressed the judges during the talent segment of the competition, when she talked about the affect cyclone Heta had on Niue.

Miss Hekau is a Crown lawyer, and is one of 13 children to former MP Makamau Hekau, and former chairperson of the of the Niue Public Service Commission, Mahetoe Hekau.

Miss Hekau's father says he is very proud of his daughter, and is looking forward to seeing her tonight when she comes back from American Samoa.

He says the whole island has been invited to celebrate her success.

"The government organised a welcome tonight when the plane comes here, and everybody on the island's been invited to attend. People on the island are all very happy and and are looking forward to seeing her when she comes."

Makamau Hekau, the father of the new Miss South Pacific, from Niue.